Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic received the decree from Vladimir Putin, the head of the Russian Federation, on the awarding of the Order of Alexander Nevsky, a significant reward for contributing to the development of cooperation between the two countries with rich history and prestige.
In parallel with the change of state order, the Order changed its name, appearance, and symbolism through the centuries, starting with the Russian Empire, through the Soviet Union and today's Russian Federation. What is left intact is the name of one of the greatest people in the Russian history, prince and a saint of the Russian Orthodox Church - Alexander Nevsky, the son of Great Prince Yaroslav Vsevolodovich, who was canonized for Christian and miraculous virtues.
Imperial Order of the Holy Blessed Prince Alexander Nevsky is regarded as one of the highest awards of the Russian Empire from 1725 to 1917, founded by Empress Catherine the Great, and was conceived by Peter I as a merit award.
The Order was originally composed of a four-sided cross and a characteristic two-headed golden eagle located between the sides of the cross, with an image of the St. Alexander Nevsky on a white horse.
St. Alexander Nevsky's Order ceased to exist and to be awarded after the October Revolution, and among the distinguished persons who were awarded with it from our history are Count Sava Vladislavic Raguzinski (a Serb, founder of the Russian intelligence service), Baron Petar Duka (Serbian general in the Austrian army from the beginning 19 century), Knyaz Nikola Petrovic Njegos, Karadjordje, Kings Milan Obrenovic and Aleksandar First Karadjordjevic, and the last Serb who received this prestigious award was radical Nikola Pasic.
The Order returned again on July 29th, 1942, when USSR, when the Alexander Nevsky order was given to the prominent Red Army commanders who showed exceptional achievements in organizing and conducting combat operations, thus leading to success.
The Order of Alexander Nevsky is made out of silver. It is embroidered, covered with Rubin-red enamel, a five-pointed red star with gold-plated ends. In the middle of the star, there is a round shield with a relief picture of Alexander Nevsky and the inscription "Aleksandar Nevski" on the perimeter in convex letters. The shield is bounded by laurel gilded wreath, and the lower ends are covered with sickle and hammer, and sword, spears, bow and arrows.
After the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1992, the Order lost its place in the system of state awards, and it returned again in 2010 when in accordance with the new statute, the Order of Alexander Nevsky became a general civic award.
The Order is awarded for special personal merit to the Russian Federation and may be awarded to prominent foreign political and public figures. The Order is worn on the left side of the chest, and it is a gold-plated 4-sided flat cross covered with Rubin enamel with wide edges.
The ends of the cross on the edges have a narrow convex belt. Between the ends of the cross, there are shapes of a two-headed eagle - which dominates the state coat of arms of the Russian Federation. In the middle of the cross, there is a round medallion on which Alexander Nevsky is on a horse. The motto "For Work and the Fatherland" is printed on the back.
According to the published decrees, 237 people received the modern Order of Alexander Nevsky. Besides the president of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, there are also presidents of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov, Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, etc.
Vucic is the first Serbian politician who received this prestigious order after Pasic.